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"Sie essen Brot."

Translation:They eat bread.

2
5 years ago

36 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/myra
myra
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Here "Sie" could be either "they" or "you" formal. For formal "you" "Sie" is always capitalized, so when it starts the sentence it may be ambiguous.

280
74 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/br13lle
br13lle
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If not regarding the verb, "sie" means "she", "they", and "you" (when capitalized), right?

49
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luchomein
luchomein
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Yes, that's correct.

5
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CameronAvocado

But how can I tell when spoken? How do German people clarify these situations? Are there any stories that revolve around this (maybe mysteries?) where the word "sie" is misunderstood in a murder case or something

22
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ibins8
Ibins8
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Sie in the sense of she can easily be recognized by the form of the verb. Sie in the sense of formal you and of 3rd person plural can be mixed up in spoken language. If there is a chance of mixing them up, you have to clarify, mostly by gesture and looks, because if you talk to someone you look at him/her, while if you talk about someone else you often look in the direction of whomever you're talking about. I'm sure there are mix ups, but I think they are surprisingly rare. One example: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/zwiebelfisch/zwiebelfisch-sie-oder-sie-du-musst-dich-entscheiden-a-316185.html (Look at the text under the picture)

3
11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Padraik

So... is there no way to tell if it's "You" or "They?" If that sentence stands alone it's ambiguous?

25
15 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XIIIshan

I think you can tell by the verb conjugation:

For example: Sie esst: She eats - verb isst is singular she and Sie essen: They eat - verb essen is plural they

63
14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j.robles

Isn't "She eats" -> "Sie isst"? since "Esst" is for "Ihr" and "Isst" is for "er/sie/es"

97
14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcosSpellmeier

Yes.

1
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elgee_nst

I think so, if it comes to action verbs, I can't distinguish between "sie" (they/plural) and "Sie" (formal form of "you"/singular). "You are drinking water" and "They are drinking water" can have the same translation in German : "Sie trinken Wasser".

But in simple verb, we can distinguish it by looking at the context. It's like how you distinguish between the single "you" and the plural "you" in English. For example : "Sie sind ein Mann". I can say the subject of this sentence is singular, because it means "a man". So "Sie" in there means "You" (formal form); You are a man. While in "Sie sind Männer", the subject is plural, because "Männer" is the plural form of Mann. So "Sie" in there means "they"; They are men. Hope it helps. :)

35
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Swaurus

I thought it was she, but when the word is essen, it means multiple so it would be they

7
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baa44

I think what he means is that it could be "You (formal) are eating bread", because, you formal also ends in 'en'.

0
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Segall

I think you are right.

4
5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/firepaw

Well, if it's plural, then sie means they in that sentence

2
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sabrina2357

Sie isst essen brot. They are eating bread. Is that correct?

-1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Niki.G.

It's - Sie isst Brot. She eats bread. Or - Sie essen Brot. They are eating bread.

1
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TechRitz

Sie means She, i didn't understand the whole thing.

0
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zuriels

I think maybe the verb form "essen" defines the meaning of the pronoun "Sie"? Because, IIRC, verbs ending with the suffix "-en" are used with pronouns like "We" and "They", and "You" (formal)

1
5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blitztech

So if the question asks me to fill in "esse" or "essen" in to the blank, the answer is "essen" regardless? If Sie is the formal "you" then would "esse" also be correct here? Is this question posed in a different form for some of you?

1
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elgee_nst

No, the verb is changed according to the subject. :)

ich esse = I eat.

du isst = You (informal, singular) eat.

er/sie/es isst = He/she/it eats.

ihr esst = You (informal, plural) eat.

wir/sie essen = We/they eat.

Sie essen = You (formal, singular/plural) eat.

22
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blitztech

Thank you!

1
4 years ago